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Old Apr 13, 2004, 5:05 PM   #11
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Ok, Aimme...

I'm trying to get a feeling for your expections... I don't want to sound negative or rude... I'm a nice guy... really...

If the hockey arenas are anything like the one i've been in or the gyms you will find it impossible to get clear stop action photos unless you spend big buck and put flashes in the rafters. (that's how the pro's do it... )

That being said I went through the few hockey pictures I have taken. And I've read Eric's execellent post! He's right... it's all about shutter speed! Re-read his post and pull out your notes. The figure Eric uses for a shutter speed is 1/500 sec. That's a good number... The problem is using a $750 camera in a typical arena you're probably not going to be able to achieve that kind of shutter speed. Here is an example of my setup in a typical arena... Remember all those settings Eric talked about? ISO... F/stop... Apperture... This picture was taking with ISO 800 and the lens "wide open" at f 2.8. The resulting shutter speed was only 1/100! Even with the ISO cranked up to 1600 the shutter speed ended up being around 1/250.. still to slow to completely stop the action... What I'm really trying to say is even with $2000 of equipment my action shots still have blurry sticks, skates and gloves... I've learned to accept that!



But the other thing I've learned about shooting low-light indoor sports is it's not always about the real fast action. You can still tell a pretty good story when the subjects aren't running, jumping or skating at full speed... Here's a few examples...





When I first bought my DRebel I had visions of stopping the action completely.... no matter how fast those gymnasts tumbled! Then I realized it was going to be impossible so I learned to accept that and adjusted my expectations... Sorry for the long post... like I mentioned.. I don't want to sound negative... just realistic...
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 8:11 PM   #12
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And it should be said that John has way more experience at shooting sports than I do.

Also, I just threw out numbers that sounded reasonable (and it's nice to know that they were. ) So don't take my numbers as "magical" or anything.

You can find some digicams with f2.8 lenses (which is about the best you'll do. The HP Photosmart 945 has a 35-300mm f2.8-f3.1 lens. Not bad. Not f2.8 at the long end, but still not bad. The older HP Photosmart 850 has the same lens (but less resolution.) The Lumix DMC-FZ10 is even better at 35-420mm f2.8 across the board.

The downside to all three of those cameras is that they only go up to ISO 400 or lower. From what John said, you need ISO 800.

You are asking to do something that is not easy. It will not be an easy choice. I looked at most lenses with a longer zoom (7x & 8x.) Maybe there is one with less of a zoom (which would make it cheaper) but that supports higher ISOs.

John, which lens do you use for sports photography? How much reach is really required for hockey?

Anne Marie, another thing to note is that the more expensive cameras have better quality at the higher ISO. So even if it supported it, you should check sample pictures on review web sites to see how bad it is. There are ways to improve the results with software (www.neatimage.com) but it doesn't work magic... but it does help.

The next game you are at, look around for someone who is taking pictures. Go ask them what settings they are using. That should give you an idea of what the light there is capable of supporting (well, also ask them how the pictures come out.) It doesn't matter if you have a $10,000 camera or a $100 dollar camera... fstop, ISO, & shutter speed are the same (part of the reason they are a bit weird in the way they are expressed.)

Eric
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 8:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
John, which lens do you use for sports photography? How much reach is really required for hockey?
The sample hockey pic was taken from up in the stands (just above the glass) at mid-ice... so shooting about half the length of the rink plus 15 to 20 feet back from the glass... I was using my 70-200 zoomed all the way to 200... and the sample pic is cropped some what... Probably could have gotten away with less zoom if I was just focusing on the goalie and had moved to the end of the rink...


Not sure how 200 relates to X times.. you know 8x zoom... 12x zoom... This lens is my workhorse...
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 7:44 AM   #14
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With the drebel, that makes this a 200mm x 1.6, or 320mm lens.

So Anne Marie, if you like the shot of that hockey player, you might consider looking for a camera that has zoom out to about 320mm. All three that I lised would fit the bill (well, the HPs end at 300, but he difference between 300 and 320 isn't that much.)

You could also add a teleconverter that would increase the range of the camera.

The 200 doesn't really relate to the "X" factor of the zoom. Since that is really a ratio.

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Old Apr 14, 2004, 9:53 AM   #15
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I liked the F717 very much, but it wasn't quite enough. I'm still very much a novice at this, but I love my DigiReb. There are some very affordable zooms out there that might fit the bill, until you get the urge to buy more. More is ALWAYS better, right? That DigiReb will probably price you out though. Here's a link to my pics. The football ones were taken with the F717, the rest with the DigiReb.

http://www.pbase.com/aaltenburger

This is probably my favorite baseball pic: http://www.pbase.com/image/27723306
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 4:46 PM   #16
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I didn't see in your post whether you already owned a digital camera or not. By "new", did you mean newer that your existing digital camera, or new as opposed to used/refurbished?

I have been very pleased with the Olympus C-2100 for taking pics of my children at various sporting events, and recommend it highly. It is available used or refurbished, and I just purchased one on eBay for my pastor's wife for $300. It has very low shutter lag, and the standard lens is the equivalent of a 38-380mm lens. Coupled with a TCON 1.7 or B-300 lens, you can get optical zoom at f3.5 of 626mm! I just thought I'd throw this out as another option available to you.
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